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Tags: NAACP | President | Jealous | Scott

NAACP Distorts Civil Rights Legacy

Clarence V. McKee By Wednesday, 09 January 2013 06:05 PM Current | Bio | Archive

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous should be ashamed of himself!

In my last Newsmax article, “The Political Lynching of Tim Scott,” I noted: “… don’t hold your breath waiting for the NAACP . . . to praise the Scott appointment . . . I bet they are trying to figure out how and when to join the mob.”

Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP.
(Getty Images)
Sure enough, in typical black “crabs-in-the barrel” fashion, Jealous joined the “mob” saying that Scott did not believe in civil rights because he got an “F” on the NAACP’s so-called Civil Rights Report Card” for the House session that ended in Dec. 2011.

Jealous wants us to believe that Scott is against his civil rights and those of his family and black Americans?

Disgraceful — he should apologize!

Civil rights are the sum total of rights embodied in the Constitution and its amendments, specifically: 13th (slavery), 14th (due process and equal protection); and, 15th (voting).

They led to scores of civil rights cases and legislation culminating in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case declaring the doctrine of “separate but equal” unconstitutional, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — landmarks in the battle against American apartheid.

I am a proud graduate of the Howard University School of Law which is steeped in civil rights history. It was a Howard Law brain trust that developed the legal strategy leading to Brown and scores of other legal victories.

It included former NAACP legal counsel and later Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, James Nabrit, William Hastie, George E.C. Hayes and many other dedicated black lawyers and alumni who worked tirelessly in the decades leading up to Brown and thereafter to fulfill the goal of civil rights for black Americans.

I was taught by many of those who had worked with these scholars.

I also spent time in Alabama and Mississippi investigating hospitals and health facilities for compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act; and, was a legal assistant to then Federal Communications Commissioner Benjamin Hooks, who later became Executive Director of the NAACP, developing equal opportunity employment rules for broadcast and cable operators.

Hence, I am no stranger to the subject.

That said, when you look at the list of 20 key votes upon which Scott was graded, only one, and perhaps two, could be construed as key to the civil rights of black Americans.

Guess what?

On the issue of whether to support final passage of the “Death Reporting Act of 2011” requiring states and the attorney general to report on deaths while in state or federal custody, Scott supported the NAACP. So, on an issue of true civil rights, Scott was 100 percent in agreement with the NAACP.

The second issue which could be considered a matter of true civil rights — equality education for black students — Scott was right and the NAACP was wrong. He supported the “Scholarship for Opportunity and Results Act” to expand a program that provided federally funded vouchers for students in Washington, D.C. so they could attend private schools just as President Obama’s children do.

The NAACP opposes such vouchers even though surveys show that black parents support them. Of course, parents are not beholden to the teachers’ unions.

The other issues on the report card have no relationship to true civil rights.

Scott was right to support a House resolution banning federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The NAACP supported Planned Parenthood urging a “nay” as it did earlier this year in opposing legislation that would have banned race-based abortions! Amazing!

The other items on the list have nothing to do with traditional civil rights including: greenhouse gas emissions; healthcare reform; collective bargaining for TSA workers and National Labor Relations Board issues.

The Report Card, with a few exceptions, is nothing more than a litany of the political agenda of the left: labor, abortion and “green” lobbies and others in the liberal Democratic coalition to whose drummer the NAACP marches in lockstep.

If you disagree and have different solutions, you get an “F” — there’s no room for diversity of viewpoint, especially if you are black.

Jealous and the NAACP leadership have derailed the great historical mission of the country’s oldest civil rights organization.

In doing so, they have betrayed the legacy of those mentioned above and others who intended the fight for civil rights to be a non-partisan battle including improving the status, image and position of black Americans in society — not simply serving as an adjunct of any political party.

Michael Myers, former NAACP assistant national director and current executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition recently wrote:

“With the regime now in charge at the NAACP, civil rights ain't what they used to be.”


On the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the NAACP should free itself from being a slave to the liberal Democratic coalition. It should once again be what it “used to be” under Ben Hooks and his predecessors.

Instead of attacking Scott, Jealous and the NAACP would be better served to turn their ire against the Oxygen Channel’s proposed new show, "All My Babies' Mamas,” featuring a rap star, his 11 children and their 10 unwed mothers — a program that has been attacked as a demeaning portrayal of black families.

But, that’s probably too much to ask.

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as the Reagan presidential campaigns, including Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation. He was also appointed chairman of the District of Columbia Reagan-Bush Campaign and he chaired the District of Columbia Delegation to the Republican National Convention in Dallas. Contact him at [email protected] Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.

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NAACP President Benjamin Jealous should be ashamed of himself!
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 06:05 PM
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